Service of Coupons
January 17th, 2013
Categories: Coupons, Post Office
I received a batch of coupons and promo materials from an unlikely source: The United States Postal Service. They came in an envelope marked with a warning that I should open the envelope for important follow up information after I’d notified the post office of my change of office address.
I learned that there wasn’t anything to do in follow up. The instructions were to let them know if something was wrong. I’d probably not have received the envelope at the new address if there was.
Most prominent in the envelope was a stack of informational coupons for home security, hardware, phone, bank, internet/cable, a newspaper subscription, appliances, satellite TV service, car insurance, furniture, address labels, five-gallon water plans, blinds, an alternative energy source and a gift store.
Guess the “important follow up” was for me to buy from these vendors.
I mention the coupons as a service to readers: If you haven’t moved lately, you might not know to suggest this marketing option to a client or friend.
While I am happily surprised that the post office has become this enterprising, I also wonder about the appropriateness of the vehicle. About.com notes, “According to the laws under which it now operates, the U.S. Postal Service is a semi-independent federal agency, mandated to be revenue-neutral. That is, it is supposed to break even, not make a profit.” [It's not making a profit for a bunch of reasons so apparently the coupon business doesn't fill in the income gap sufficiently to put the postal service at risk of breaking the law.]
Do you think the post office is taking good or bad advantage of customers by acting as a welcome wagon of sorts? Are they selling my name and address to the participating companies?